Cross-party Parliamentary Taskforce: Evidence Gathering
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The Taskforce has carried out an extensive evidence-gathering exercise. Thousands of kinship carers and the children they are raising have shared their experiences with us, as have legal and social work practitioners, local and national decision makers and organisations working with kinship care families.
Regional kinship carer consultation events
Between January and September 2019 Family Rights Group coordinated a series of ten Taskforce meetings across England and Wales, on behalf of the Taskforce. Each event was held by a different organisation in the Kinship Care Alliance and where Parliamentary business permitted, chaired by an MP:
- Birmingham Children’s Trust – Midlands
- Coram BAAF – South East of England
- Family Rights Group – South West England
- Kinship – London and North East England
- Kinship Carers Liverpool – North West of England
- Leeds City Council – Yorkshire and the Humber
- Taunton Kinship Care Support Group – Somerset
- Children in Wales – South Wales
- Y Bont – North Wales
In addition, a number of local kinship groups held special Parliamentary Taskforce discussion sessions and invited their local MPs to attend. Notes from the discussion sessions were forwarded to the Taskforce as part of the evidence-gathering.
Kinship carer surveys
In 2020 Family Rights Group on behalf of the Taskforce conducted a survey of kinship carers’ experiences during the Pandemic. The survey’s findings can be read here.
In 2019 Family Rights Group carried out an extensive survey of kinship carers. 845 kinship carers raising at least 1252 kinship children filled in the survey.
The survey report – ‘The highs and lows of kinship care: analysis of a comprehensive survey of kinship carers 2019’ was published in September 2019. Analysis of the survey has been presented to the Taskforce and has informed the Taskforce’s recommendations.
Written evidence submissions
The Taskforce issued a call for written evidence from organisations and individuals working with kinship carers, children and families, including child welfare and family justice organisations. This was an opportunity to share insight with the Taskforce, including information about practice challenges, effective ways of working and recommendations for change.
The following organisations and individuals were among those who responded with written evidence. Click on the link to read their submission.
- Association of Directors of Children’s Services
- Association of Lawyers for Children
- Care Crisis Review – Factors contributing to national increases in numbers of looked after children and applications for care orders
- Care Crisis Review – Summary of the Options for Change
- Children and Families Across Borders
- Children Law Subcommittee at The Law Society
- Coram Children’s Legal Centre and Coram BAAF
- Family Rights Group submission to the Commission on Justice in Wales
- Family Rights Group and Gary Vaux specific issue response
- GMB written evidence – Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care, March 2020
- Kinship (formerly known as Grandparents Plus)
- Kinship Carers Liverpool
- Lawyers in Local Government
- Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
- Local Government Association
- Safe Families for Children
- Special Guardians and Adopters Together
- Susan Nash, coordinator with Peterborough Kinship Carers Group (individual response)
- TACT Fostering and Adoption
Freedom of Information request to local authorities
The Taskforce sent a Freedom of Information request in February 2019 to all English local authorities. The responses have been analysed and the results incorporated in the Taskforce’s report.